Jewish Peace News
Both sickening, but important, reading to get a true sense of what is really happening on the ground.
The two items below are among the few first-hand reports filtering through Israel’s blockade on information from within the Gaza Strip. The second in particular includes detailed factual records of times, places, people’s names, types of armament used against civilian Gazan population, types of injuries, the dangerous logistics (and impossibility) of rescue work.
Gaza is sinking in a river of blood
Mohammed Fares Al Majdalawi writing from the occupied Gaza Strip
I want to write about the suffering of my people and my family in these days of siege against the people of Gaza. At least 888 people have been killed and more than 3,700 injured. The International Committee of the Red Cross has accused the Israeli military of repeatedly refusing to allow ambulances to go to the al-Zeitoun area of Gaza City. As a result, those who are injured become those who die, a premeditated and willful violation of human rights.
In my house we can’t get basic needs. No food. No bread. No fuel. No future. Yesterday, my father went to the bakery at 5am. He waited 5 hours to get one loaf of bread, which is not enough for my family because there are 11 of us. So today it was my turn. I went to all the bakeries — all were closed.
All signs point to systematic targeting of civilians
Ewa Jasiewicz writing from the occupied Gaza Strip
Last night was a quiet one in Jabaliya. “Only” six homes bombed into the ground, the market, again, maybe four lightly injured people — shrapnel to the face injuries — and no martyrs. Beit Hanoun saw a young woman, Nariman Ahmad Abu Owder, just 17, shot dead as she made tea in her family’s kitchen. It was 9pm in the Hay Amel area when witnesses reported “thousands” of bullets shot by tanks onto homes in Azrah Street.
We got a call to go to Tel al-Zaater looking for the dead and injured, around 2am. “This area is dangerous, very very dangerous,” warned one volunteer rescuer, Muhammad al-Sharif, as our ambulance bumped along sandy, lumpy ground, illuminating piles of burning rubbish, stray cats, political graffiti, and the ubiquitous strung-out colored sack cloth and stripey material in large thin squares, tenting the pavements. What is it? Protection, I am told, so that the surveillance planes won’t see the fighters. Palestinian body armor.
Myth and reality in Gaza
Jewish Peace News
Article #1: In the first article below, Naomi Klein discusses the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement in the light of the recent war. She argues that it provides the best strategy for the international community to end the occupation, and she easily counters some of the arguments brought up in opposition to BDS. BDS attempts to raise the cost of doing business with Israel, applying pressure to companies on the purely economic plane of profit calculation. It is a long-term strategy, but given the current state of heightened international awareness of the atrocities of occupation, now might be an excellent time to push for it.
Article #2: The second piece, by Oxford professor Avi Schlaim is an uncompromising account of the current situation. Schlaim puts the current war squarely into historical context, debunking myths such as (1) Hamas broke the ceasefire first; (2) Israel tries to avoid harming civilians; (3) this is a defensive war on Israel’s part; (4) Israel promotes democracy. Schlaim is unflinching and concludes that Israel is “a rogue state” that “habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practises terrorism.”
Article #3: In this essay Levy brings up the question of who is the “real patriot” : Is it the person who blindly cheers on the troops, refusing to ask hard questions, and refusing to allow other people to ask such questions. Or, is it the person who feels that even at a time of war, ESPECIALLY at a time of war, raising the fateful and decisive questions is not only allowed, but the required duty of each and everyone who truly care for the fate of their country. He ends by saying: “Here and now it is my war, our war, the war of us all, for which we all bear responsibility, of which we are all guilty. And therefore it is incumbent on us to make our voice heard, a different voice, a “hallucinatory” voice to the ears of the desensitized, a voice that is “traitorous,” “base,” “Jew-hating,” “contemptible”; and different. This is not only our right, it is our supreme duty toward the state to which we are so bound, we patriotic scoundrels.”
Article #4: Sam Bahour, a Palestinian American living in Al-Bireh in the West Bank- and a consistent advocate for a just resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict – exposes as a lie the claim that Israel had no other choice, as he counts some of the options Israel could have chosen, other than the war (crimes) path. In closing, Bahour writes: “You may not see us over the Separation Wall you built; you may not see us from the cockpits of your F-16s or from the inside of your tanks; you may not see us from the command and control center in the heart of Tel Aviv as you direct your pilots to launch their ton of munitions over our heads. Still, I can assure you of one thing. Until you wake up and demand that your leaders choose a different path, a path toward a life as equals and neighbors instead of trampler-on and trampled-on, you and your warrior sons and daughters will continue to see us—all of us, living and dead—in your nightmares, where we will continue to demand peace with justice.”